Texas Migratory Bird Report No. 19 for 2011
Weekly migratory bird hunting reports are posted from early September through early February.
Texas –-(Ammoland.com)- High Plains Mallard Management Unit: Goose hunting continued steady for Canadas and a few snow geese, though light winds have hurt decoying action at times. Plowed ground close to roosting water has paid off best for light geese.
Wheat and corn have held most of the dark geese. Good hunts for mallards, teal, wigeons and gadwalls were reported on playa lakes and feed lots.
Knox City has been good for wigeons, mallards and teal. Specklebellies and Canadas have been good in plowed ground and peanuts. Prospects are good.
North Zone Duck:
Duck hunters have taken good numbers of mallards in wet sloughs and creeks in the northeast portion of the state. Wood ducks have been steady, but many woodies have been working larger waters since timber water has been limited. Caddo Lake has been good for ringed-necks, gadwalls, scaup and a few mallards.
The Sulphur River and Wright-Patman Lake has held good numbers of wood ducks and mallards. Canvasbacks and other divers have been steady on Lake O’Pines, Toledo Bend, Lake Fork and Cooper Lake. Hunting has been fair around the zone boundaries of IH-10, but expect the area to respond positively to timely rains that fell last week. Prospects are good.
South Zone Duck:
The coast continues to produce the best duck hunting in the state. Pintails, teal and shovelers have been fair to good near El Campo, Eagle Lake, Garwood, Collegeport, East Bernard and Wharton. Green-winged teal numbers improved this week around Blessing, Pierce, El Campo and Wharton. Many coastal bags have been devoid of gadwalls and wigeons, two species of ducks that were a mainstay on hunters’ straps a year ago. Bay hunters have enjoyed limits to half-limits near Port O’Connor and Rockport. Redheads, bluebills, gadwalls and wigeons have made up the bay bags.
Those hunters willing to go mobile and hunt natural cover have been more successful compared to large, gaudy blinds. Hard north winds pushed lots of water out of the bay, relocating birds to deeper shorelines. Good numbers of pintails, redheads and gadwalls have been taken in Baffin Bay and Port Mansfield. Snow goose hunting has been fair to good.
Young birds continue to decoy well. Specklebellies have shied from calls and water; the white-fronted goose season closes at sunset Jan. 9. Sandhill crane numbers are excellent, and many hunters have taken at least a bird a man in goose spreads. Those setting up along canal banks and fence rows to pass-shoot have had little trouble taking their two-bird limit. Prospects are good.